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NASA's Juno Space Probe Enters Orbit Around Jupiter (cnn.com) 131

An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNN: NASA says it has received a signal from 540 million miles across the solar system, confirming its Juno spacecraft has successfully started orbiting Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system. "Welcome to Jupiter!" flashed on screens at mission control at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California. The probe had to conduct a tricky maneuver to slow down enough to allow it to be pulled into orbit: It fired its main engine for 35 minutes, effectively hitting the brakes to slow the spacecraft by about 1,212 miles per hour (542 meters per second). Juno was launched nearly five years ago on a mission to study Jupiter's composition and evolution. It's the first spacecraft to orbit Jupiter since Galileo. The largest planet in our solar system, Jupiter is a huge ball of gas 11 times wider than Earth and 300 times more massive than our planet. Researchers think it was the first planet to form and that it holds clues to how the solar system evolved. Juno is a spinning, robotic probe as wide as a basketball court. It will circle Jupiter 37 times for 20 months, diving down to about 2,600 miles (4,100 kilometers) above the planet's dense clouds. The seven science instruments on board will study Jupiter's auroras and help scientists better understand the planet's origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere. An onboard color camera called JunoCam will take "spectacular close-up, color images" of Jupiter, according to NASA. Juno launched from Cape Canaveral on August 5, 2011, which is some 445 million miles (716 million kilometers) away from Jupiter. Juno has however traveled a total distance of 1,740 million miles (2,800 million kilometers) to reach Jupiter as it had to make a flyby of Earth to help pick up speed. "After a 1.7 billion mile journey, we hit our burn targets within one second, on a target that was just tens of kilometers large," said Nybakken, Juno Project Manger. "That's how well the Juno spacecraft performed tonight."
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NASA's Juno Space Probe Enters Orbit Around Jupiter

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  • Jupiter (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 05, 2016 @06:02AM (#52446789)

    'In awe, I watched the waxing moon ride across the zenith of the heavens like an ambered chariot towards the ebony void of infinite space wherein the tethered belts of Jupiter and Mars hang, for ever festooned in their orbital majesty. And as I looked at all this I thought... I must put a roof on this toilet."

          -- Bill Gates

  • Second sun (Score:5, Funny)

    by stealth_finger ( 1809752 ) on Tuesday July 05, 2016 @06:04AM (#52446791)
    Don't want to add too many basketball court sized objects. And leave Europa alone.
    • by arth1 ( 260657 )

      Not having a single sports molecule in my body, I had no clue what they meant by "Juno is a spinning, robotic probe as wide as a basketball court."
      Why can't they use standard terms of measurement like 1U or millifurlongs? Sooner or later they'll crash a probe when a contractor gets the sports rules mixed up and uses American hoop ball measurements instead of International.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        They gave dimensions in meters and feet several times.. however, most folks don't have a good feel for what a three pronged thing that's 20 meters/60 feet in diameter is. Even the folks working on the project haven't ever seen the whole thing deployed, so they don't have a good feel for it. Pretty much everyone in the US watching/listening audience has at least *seen* a basketball court, so it does but it in context.

        Dimensions: 11.5 feet (3.5 meters) high, 11.5 feet (3.5 meters) in diameter.
        Solar Arrays:

      • Why can't they use standard terms of measurement like 1U or millifurlongs?

        Rack units?

      • by jittles ( 1613415 ) on Tuesday July 05, 2016 @08:51AM (#52447287)

        Not having a single sports molecule in my body, I had no clue what they meant by "Juno is a spinning, robotic probe as wide as a basketball court." Why can't they use standard terms of measurement like 1U or millifurlongs? Sooner or later they'll crash a probe when a contractor gets the sports rules mixed up and uses American hoop ball measurements instead of International.

        Having been on both a basketball court and inside of the LOC, I can tell you that it is approximately 1/10th of a Library of Congress wide

        • Not having a single sports molecule in my body, I had no clue what they meant by "Juno is a spinning, robotic probe as wide as a basketball court." Why can't they use standard terms of measurement like 1U or millifurlongs? Sooner or later they'll crash a probe when a contractor gets the sports rules mixed up and uses American hoop ball measurements instead of International.

          Having been on both a basketball court and inside of the LOC, I can tell you that it is approximately 1/10th of a Library of Congress wide

          What's that in Big Bens?

          • Not having a single sports molecule in my body, I had no clue what they meant by "Juno is a spinning, robotic probe as wide as a basketball court." Why can't they use standard terms of measurement like 1U or millifurlongs? Sooner or later they'll crash a probe when a contractor gets the sports rules mixed up and uses American hoop ball measurements instead of International.

            Having been on both a basketball court and inside of the LOC, I can tell you that it is approximately 1/10th of a Library of Congress wide

            What's that in Big Bens?

            Well Big Ben is technically a bell but if you're referring to the clock tower, it's approximately 1/6 of an Elizabeth Clock Tower.

        • No no NO!

          It is entirely inappropriate to use the LOC, which is a unit of information, to measure a volume or an area.

          An appropriate measure of area is a decimal fraction or percentage of "the size of Rhode Island". An appropriate measure of volume is "English imperial hogsheads" (not to be confused with "Russian imperial kegs" which should only be used within an appropriate historical (pre-1917) context.

          </!-- end measurement nazi rant -->

      • I've started calculating all project costs in Starbucks Coffees, instead of dollars. For instance, "We could build something to do this for you in a few weeks, but it will cost about 10,000 Starbucks coffees. Or subscribe to this existing service, for only 2 Starbucks coffees per day.

        • Is that the new Big Mac index?

          Just trying to go with the times, I already felt out of the loop now that "blink of an eye" has been replaced with "Reddit user attention span" for short periods of time.

      • by Waffle Iron ( 339739 ) on Tuesday July 05, 2016 @10:39AM (#52447965)

        Not having a single sports molecule in my body, I had no clue what they meant by "Juno is a spinning, robotic probe as wide as a basketball court."

        Remember when you were in high school and they sometimes made all the students go to a big room where you sat on hard benches and the principal emceed for some brief talks and activities?

        That was probably a basketball court.

    • by hcs_$reboot ( 1536101 ) on Tuesday July 05, 2016 @08:42AM (#52447245)
      Europa used to be a bit bigger moon, but it was split in two after a shock, the other smaller part is called Youkay.
  • What everyone really wants to know is if some feminists are going to demean and belittle a man during his most successful day for wearing a shirt his girlfriend made for him.

    Congratulations to the Juno team, you've achieved a phenomenal effort. I hope your day isn't wreaked by some stupid social justice bullshit.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by arth1 ( 260657 )

      Whoever modded the parent "-1 Offtopic", it's very much on topic - that's exactly what happened with the Rosetta mission to 67P/Churyumova-Gerasimenko.

      -1 Flamebait, sure. But sadly on topic: The crew of the Juno mission all wear grey uniforms now, specifically designed to not risk offense to anyone.

    • by trout007 ( 975317 ) on Tuesday July 05, 2016 @07:51AM (#52447059)

      No because this is a professional team that is wearing Polo shirts with the mission patch instead of being attention seekers. They realize they represent thousands of people that dedicated a decade of their lives to make this work.

      http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/04/... [cnn.com]

      • No because this is a professional team that is wearing Polo shirts with the mission patch instead of being attention seekers. They realize they represent thousands of people that dedicated a decade of their lives to make this work.

        http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/04/... [cnn.com]

        Boring Shirts. Why are they not in suits? Polo shirts are not professional in the least. Besides, it really isn't about the shirts, its the privileged assholes in them. That photo has only one non patriarchal person in it.

        The real goal is this:https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Ci7V02mXIAAs3eN.jpg as the Huffpost paints the way to true diversity. Time for NASA to get with the program.

        • Boring Shirts. Why are they not in suits? Polo shirts are not professional in the least.

          Let me guess, you're one of those management types who's all about schmoosing and looking the part without actually playing any part.

          The only people I ever see wear suits now a days are those trying to sell us something.

          • Boring Shirts. Why are they not in suits? Polo shirts are not professional in the least.

            Let me guess, you're one of those management types who's all about schmoosing and looking the part without actually playing any part.

            The only people I ever see wear suits now a days are those trying to sell us something.

            Well, that's a big whoosh. If you went to the link as well as read my other posts on the subject, you'd see that I was being plenty sarcastic, especially after I posted the link to the Huffington post staff members, all female, no non-caucasian except for one asian woman.

            That being said, my job was diverse enough that I might be in a suit one day, then t-shirt and jeans the next. I dressed appropriate for the function.

        • In other words, it doesn't matter whether we accomplish jack shit, as long as women do it. Umm...

          Can we get back to space exploration?

          • In other words, it doesn't matter whether we accomplish jack shit, as long as women do it. Umm...

            Can we get back to space exploration?

            Could anyone read the shit I posted there and think I was serious? At least you and one other person thought I was.

            • Unfortunately, as odd as this may seem, yes, there are people that post this kind of bull and are dead serious about it.

              Being sarcastic and absurd has become harder and harder as sarcasm requires you to push past the envelope of sanity, beyond anything a normal person would do or say. And that's getting quite the challenge these days.

      • instead of being attention seekers

        I take issue with that kind of language being used to describe someone who chose his shirt for the day with two aims 1) To fight the stereotype of scientists as detached figures, unrepresentative as role-models for kids choosing their path in life; 2) To publicly show the female friend that had made it for him that he appreciated his gift.

      • No because this is a professional team that is wearing Polo shirts with the mission patch instead of being attention seekers.

        Oh? Wearing a shirt you like that was given as a present to you during a momentous occasion without any idea that you will be asked to be interviewed for TV is "attention seeking"? Good to know man. Thanks you've taught me a lot. ... about you I mean, not about fashion.

      • instead of being attention seekers

        Oh piss off. I doubt he had thought that far ahead when he got dressed. And anyway, he wasn't dressed like a hobo, which puts him above about 87% of physicists.

        And for the rest of you crowing about how stupid it is, consider this.

        He offended some people. And like it or not, people have a right to take offence (unless you're going to take a stand against free speech). Now, they also don't have any particular right to not be offended, but here's the rub, that guy actually c

  • From the article: "Galileo was deliberately crashed into Jupiter on September 21, 2003, to protect one of its discoveries -- a possible ocean beneath Jupiter's moon Europa."

    What is that supposed to mean? Protect a possible ocean from what? Or were they protecting Galileo's discovery by destroying evidence? Protecting from whom?

    • planetary protection (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Galileo, like Juno, was not built with sufficient planetary protection processes to ensure that it might not contaminate a place where life might be (e.g. Europa), so rather than leave it in orbit around Jupiter and have Europa run into it on some orbit, they deliberately dispose of it.

      Adding the necessary planetary protection is a real cost and schedule burden, so if you can avoid it, you do.

      • Being in space for years, with extreme temperature variations, vacuum, and radiation, isn't sufficient to guarantee sterility? I know bacterial spores can be pretty tough, but THAT tough?

        • by FlyHelicopters ( 1540845 ) on Tuesday July 05, 2016 @09:00AM (#52447317)

          Being in space for years, with extreme temperature variations, vacuum, and radiation, isn't sufficient to guarantee sterility? I know bacterial spores can be pretty tough, but THAT tough?

          Unlike morons on Earth who are happy to fuck with our air, water, and food supply for profit, NASA understands that you can't fuck this up even once, and it simply isn't worth the chance...

          Once even a single anything gets down there, you're screwed and can never remove it...

          • Being in space for years, with extreme temperature variations, vacuum, and radiation, isn't sufficient to guarantee sterility? I know bacterial spores can be pretty tough, but THAT tough?

            Unlike morons on Earth who are happy to fuck with our air, water, and food supply for profit, NASA understands that you can't fuck this up even once, and it simply isn't worth the chance...

            Once even a single anything gets down there, you're screwed and can never remove it...

            If a spaceship that has been in space for years can transport life from earth to jupiter then in all likelyhood it has already happened from the many asteroids that have hit earth in the past and blasted rocks into space.

            • Hmm... a rock containing microscopic life that avoids getting sterilized in the impact heat, gets ejected from earth, manages to get to escape velocity, gets on a trajectory that allows it to get into the SOI of Jupiter BUT NOT collide with it but instead collide with a moon BUT at such a speed that it DOES NOT gain escape velocity from that moon again...

              No.

        • by meglon ( 1001833 ) on Tuesday July 05, 2016 @09:02AM (#52447331)
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

          Possibly.
          • by Eloking ( 877834 )

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

            Possibly.

            Yes they could survive the trip and the crash on Europa (or other planet/Moon). But it have to feed on plant to survive no? Unless they fear they'll feed on aliens plants, or am I missing something?

            • by meglon ( 1001833 )
              Life has an interesting way of adapting. Sexual species spontaneously changing sexes to be able to reproduce; species around black smokers that have no use for us species constrained by that pesky dependence on photosynthesis; species that survive in environments that we never thought could support life.... there's too many creatures that live on the edge of what we believe is possible for me to discard the idea that something we send up there might find a better place to live than here, and that's the se
        • by Anonymous Coward

          Surprisingly, yes. Things have survived an extended period on the wrong side of the ISS' hull, not to mention the Columbia's reentry.

          (That's before getting into things like D. radiodurans or even tougher critters, which probably need exposure to high doses of antimatter to reliably kill..)

        • Maybe. [wikipedia.org] But in this case better safe than sorry -- after all we don't want to piss off Big Brother or its bosses [wikipedia.org] by potentially contaminating Europa.
        • Can you be certain?

          You know life... if you ever had 'roaches or mold, you know what I'm talking about. You only need to get them ONCE, and then they're THERE.

          Same for contaminating a planet.

        • by Megane ( 129182 )
          Hasn't there been some kind of mold found on the outside of space station windows? Maybe ISS, maybe Mir?
    • Contamination.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I remember when /. wasn't full of bloody morons.

    • by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Tuesday July 05, 2016 @08:46AM (#52447259) Homepage

      Europa is a very good candidate for extraterrestrial life. It's got oceans of liquid water kept warm by the gravitational tug of Jupiter. If we send future space probes to Europa and find microbial life, it will quite possibly be the biggest discovery of the modern era. However, if Galileo crashed on Jupiter, there would have been a slight chance that microbes on the space probe could have contaminated the moon. We do everything we can to sterilize the probes, but microbes are very good at getting everywhere and hiding out. Some can even survive space's vacuum and intense radiation. If we do find life on Europa, we want to be 100% certain that it is Europa-originated life and not Earth life brought there by something we sent to the moon earlier.

      • We do everything we can to sterilize the probes, but microbes are very good at getting everywhere and hiding out.

        Fortunately, that fact hasn't stopped us from sending landers and rovers to Mars.

        If Galileo had crashed on Europa, and microbes were later found living on Europa, their DNA would easily tell us whether we're looking at something that originated on Earth.

        A bigger problem would be, what if invasive-species-earth-microbes make the native microbes go extinct?

        But it seems unlikely that a species that has adapted to Earth's environment, when introduced to Europa, would crowd out species that have adapted to Europ

  • by Provocateur ( 133110 ) <shedied@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday July 05, 2016 @07:54AM (#52447067) Homepage

    2001: Documentary about space travel reaching Jupiter was released
    2016: tourist/exploratory satellite arrives 15 years behind schedule, to take pictures

    Memo:
    Issue warning to "puny humans" in 30 earth-days. Emphasis on Europa, where we keep all our "stuff" "stuff that explodes", and other unstable stuff

  • one [visoracle.com] two [nasa.gov]
  • by Blaskowicz ( 634489 ) on Tuesday July 05, 2016 @08:25AM (#52447191)

    Don't RTFA. The pictures are unremarkable too, I'm sure we'll get some interesting ones but later.

    • by necro81 ( 917438 ) on Tuesday July 05, 2016 @10:22AM (#52447847) Journal

      The pictures are unremarkable too.

      The camera and the rest of the science payload were intentionally shut down a few days ago, so that they are best protected during orbit insertion and cannot interfere with that critical maneuver. They'll be brought back online in a couple of days, by which point Juno will be relatively far from Jupiter in its highly elliptical polar orbit. The first scientific pass isn't until August. In other words: there aren't really any stunning images expected anytime soon.

      The camera on Juno is mostly there for public interest - it is not necessarily a prime science instrument. This is a significant difference between this mission and, say, Cassini and New Horizons, where getting map-quality visual data was a prime mission objective. Galileo served that purpose for the Jovian system, and Juno won't be making any close approaches to any moons in any case. The camera will be able to provide our first close-up views of the polar regions, and those images should look pretty great given how close Juno will be.

      • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Tuesday July 05, 2016 @01:06PM (#52449353) Journal

        Galileo served [the photographic] purpose for the Jovian system

        Not really; Galileo's main antenna failed to open properly, greatly limiting practical bandwidth. Jupiter has yet to be visited by a photo-intensive mission.

        For example, Galileo could not send frequent images of Jupiter's clouds so that weather changes could be monitored in detail for an (Earth) year or more. The other probes sent to Jupiter were merely flyby's (2 Pioneers, 2 Voyagers, 1 New Horizons).

        But it appears they decided that studying the core (via gravity patterns) and polar radiation of Jupiter to be more scientifically useful at this time than general imaging. Hence Juno.

        Juno's orbit is not well-suited for good imaging of the planet and its moons (except possibly the polar regions of Jupiter).

        Maybe in the future, an image-intensive probe will be sent.

  • Perhaps we will finally find out if Arthur C. Clarke [wikipedia.org] was right about the core of Jupiter [guide-to-t...iverse.com].

  • In light of Juno entering Jupiter's orbit, I have updated Wikipedia's description of the Eclipse IDE version naming themes [wikipedia.org].
  • by iONiUM ( 530420 ) on Tuesday July 05, 2016 @11:37AM (#52448411) Journal

    You can see the trajectory here: http://i.imgur.com/d3TiJAt.gif [imgur.com]

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